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I Love Him But I Don't Want My Name To Be Mrs. Grossweiner    

Girls, we need to talk. Friends don’t let friends take stupid last names when they get married. I know, I know, they’re all like, “But it means so much to him,” or “I want my in-laws to like me,” or “I want the whole romantic, Disney princess and live- happily-ever-after package,” blah, blah, blah. But seriously. Cockburn? Medick? Butt? No, just *NO.* 

And if you’re in this conundrum, think it through! What about your future/potential/still-haven’t-decided-if-I-want children?  Isn’t the world tough enough to navigate without putting a target on kids’ backs with a “please bully me” name?

Let’s put an end to this by asking our fiancés to debunk tradition and take our names. This outdated, misguided show of love, honor, and respect — no matter the name — really needs to end. Your name, ancestry, and choices are as important as his. Channel Taylor Swift and say it with me: “Never be so politе you forget your power.”

The first time you mention him taking your name, he may think you’re joking. Once he stops laughing and realizes you’re 100% serious, it’s pretty safe to bet he could be offended, confused, or hurt. Totally understandable. You’ve caught him off guard. He was prepared for the fight over the DJ vs. a band or honeymoon in Hawaii vs. Jamaica, but he wasn’t expecting you to bring up giving up his name. Go easy on the dear boy.

Here are some tips to answer some of the most common roadblocks from your soon-to-be partner-in-life if you’ve fallen helplessly in love with a Boehner or Schmuck. And even if his last name isn’t awful, you can still ask him to take your name just because you want to. Remember what P!NK once said: “You can’t move mountains by whispering at them.”

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Him: I Come From a Long Line of Snodgrass

Girlfriend, be honest and tell your true love, “I love you, but not your family’s name.” If he says, “I can trace Snodgrass back 10 generations in 23andMe,” respond quickly, “That’s fine, but our children will trace our family line by birth, marriage, and death certificates like women have been doing for centuries.”

Children do not have to grow up being a Snodgrass, even if your hubby wants to hang tight to it. And you do not have to be the lone wolf in the family pack with a different last name. If he wants to be an 11th-generation Snodgrass, all the more power to him, but you and your children are allowed to have a different last name. Once you pop out a baby or two and give them your last name, he’ll jump the Snodgrass ship and hoist your name flag on his pole.

Him: My Parents Will Be So Disappointed

I’m sorry, but remind me, who is getting married and going to have to live with that name? Just because his mom got suckered into being a Weiner doesn’t mean you have to. You both are starting a new bond and possibly forming a family. If you both have awful last names, say Weiner and Grossweiner, it might be time to pick a new name (preferably not something with “Weiner”). Or, if you both want to keep your Weiner names, when/if you have children, celebrate the birth with a new family name (possibly TurtleDove) and all change your name together.

Him: Men Don’t Change Their Names

Honey, we’re in 2024, not 1924. There are no states that require women to change their names (although Alabama was the lone holdout until 1983!), and there has never been a law requiring men to keep their last names when they get married. Men can and do change their last names all the time. Ben Affleck was born Benjamin Géza Affleck-Boldt, and Bruno Mars’s birth certificate shows his name to be Peter Gene Hernandez. 

Sure, back when women went from dad’s name to hubby’s name, men didn’t have a choice, but now you have options. Flip a coin and take her name if she ends up on top. Or take your better half’s name because it matches the character in your favorite childhood movie. The Supreme Court may have overturned Roe vs. Wade, so exercise your right to choose elsewhere. 

Him: My Family and Friends Will Think I’m a Wimp

Dude, grow a pair and announce to family and friends you’re proud to have a united name with your wife and someday/possibly/maybe children. Get over the “puff-up-your-chest” toxic masculinity that says your offspring must bear your name. They’re children, not livestock. Your wife is your best friend and soulmate, not your property. What like you’re a Bridgerton fairytale guy who is the rich, strong provider who marries (rescues) the poor damsel in distress? I don’t think so.

Him: I Don’t Want to Take Your Dad’s Name

And I’m sure you don’t want to take his mom’s name (or sister or cousin or whoever), especially if it’s Meth, Damm, or Fuchs. If he can’t suck it up and go with his lovely bride’s last name, create a combination of both your names or a fun, new name you both love, like Dumbledore, Skywalker, or Banana-Hammock in honor of Phoebe on Friends.

Him: How Will People Know What Name We Choose?

Be a trendsetter and have a name reveal at your bridal shower or rehearsal dinner. Make it a game. Have people guess, then reveal your choice in a slide show, beautifully created cards, or a large personal check with your new name in the “Pay To:” spot. Post it on TikTok and Insta. Or announce it on your wedding website. Make a sign broadcasting your new name at your ceremony. Have the priest/decan/internet-ordained-minister announce it right before you kiss. More importantly, have fun and celebrate your married name!